Significant turnaround in financial performance for Glasgow Prestwick Airport

* Revenue increase and operational efficiencies drive profitability
* Coronavirus impact on passenger revenues unlikely to recover soon

Glasgow Prestwick Airport has reported a significant turnaround in its financial performance, reporting an underlying operating profit of £3m (subject to audit) for the 12 months to 31 March 2020, compared to a £1m loss the previous year.

Revenue increased by 46% year-on-year to £36m, up from £24.6m the previous year.

Stewart Adams, chief executive at Glasgow Prestwick Airport, said the underlying principles of the airport’s financial performance were based on the development of new revenue opportunities, coupled with measures to control costs and operational efficiencies.

He said: “This performance underlines Glasgow Prestwick Airport’s enhanced status as a vital strategic provider of international freight and aviation services, and a major infrastructure asset which benefits the Scottish economy.”

However, Mr Adams recognised the immediate and long-term challenges facing the global aviation sector, particularly businesses connected to passenger travel.

He said: “While we were very much on an upward trajectory in terms of profitability before the global pandemic, it is inevitable that our future revenue and profits will be affected due to the impact of coronavirus.

“Even before the pandemic, our financial performance was hampered by declining passenger numbers and revenue. In turn, we do not expect passenger numbers to return to pre-coronavirus levels in the near future.”

Mr Adams also provided an update on the process to return the airport to private ownership.

He said: “A Preferred Bidder was appointed as part of the sale process. Whilst talks with the preferred bidder are continuing, it has been necessary to extend the timeframe for these discussions. Due to Glasgow Prestwick Airport’s importance to Scotland’s national infrastructure, we are confident that the business can be sold in due course.

“We will continue to investigate opportunities to further develop the business under its current ownership but also with an eye to future ownership as part of a markedly different global aviation industry.”

Andrew Miller non-executive chair at Glasgow Prestwick Airport, said:

“On behalf of the Board, we thank Stewart and his management team for last year’s exceptional results. During Stewart’s three years as CEO the business has made significant gains in the marketplace.”

Since April, Glasgow Prestwick Airport and its specialist freight services, has been involved in the welcoming and handling of vital personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers in Scotland.

The airport is owned by TS Prestwick Holdco, a private limited company wholly owned by the Scottish Government.

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